27 Jul

10 truths I have learnt from being a coach

Recently I spoke at a business function. My brief was to talk about coaching and how being coached can open up opportunities for you. What an awesome brief, as I am usually asked to speak about more specific topics such as goal setting, prioritising or deadlines. This brief certainly was a breath of fresh air and also a  source of great indecision. There were so many aspects of coaching and it’s benefits that I could talk about! Where to start?

In the end I took  inspiration from Anne Lamott’s Ted Talk, 12 truths I learnt from life and writing 


“Anne Lamott has inspired me to speak this evening about the 10 truths I have learnt from being a coach. Hopefully some of these points may resonate with you and will prompt  some thinking on the way home. This being a big goal for any coach. Making you think.

Truth # 1 – Have your own goals – Make sure you are always working toward achieving your own goals. That is in business and in your personal life. These days the majority of us could be classified as borderline workaholics. It seems to be in our DNA to always be working hard and it seems to be the norm to always be busy. Don’t get to your deathbed one day and think, “oh gosh” I should have done my own thing. I should have worked towards achieving my own goals! Because by then it is just too late!

Truth # 2 – You can teach old dogs new trick – The dog just needs to be open to change. Once we realize that we are never too old to change, learn and grow, it is amazing how many opportunities we open up for ourselves.

Truth # 3 – If you fail to plan, you plan to fail – You can be the biggest visionary in the world, with the greatest ideas, but here is the thing; if you don’t draw up action plans and deadlines in order to achieve these goals, they will just stay visions and dreams forever with no results.

Truth # 4 – There is some truth in the saying “ There are 101 ways to skin a cat” there are 101 ways to solve a problem, you just need to be open to new thinking, new ideas and also other people’s opinions.

Truth # 5 – Learn to be more objective. In coaching terms this is what we call maintaining the coaching position. The next time you find yourself in a heated situation. STOP, BREATHE and STEP BACK, removing yourself from the situation helps to place things into perspective and allows you to think objectively about things. You’ll also find that this process can lift a weight from our shoulders. The weight of our EGO’s, righteousness and judgment.

Truth # 6  – Learn how to practise mindfulness – this is not about whipping out your yoga mats, drinking green tea and finding your centre. This is about learning to be in the present moment and to be happy and accepting of the present moment. We are constantly thinking about the “next project” the “next win” and this is good as it motivates us, however don’t let the future-focus mindset sabotage the opportunity to focus on the present. Learning to be in the present moment. Appreciating the here and the now only makes our lives richer.

Truth # 7 – You don’t need to wait for permission to start something – Your life is not like a collection of bus stops. You don’t need to be waiting around for the next bus. You don’t need to be waiting around for someone else to give you permission to do something in your own life or business. This sounds absurd now, but I see it often. The only person who should be giving you permission is yourself.

Truth # 8 – Who are your supporters, your cheerleaders? Who is your confidante, your shoulder to cry on? We cannot work in silos. When you make a decision to make a change in your life, make sure you have organised your support system beforehand.

Truth #  9 – Celebrate the little things and the big things – Take a moment to think about your past week and what you have achieved over this week? Did you celebrate those successes or were the successes too insignificant that they were forgotten about? Learn to celebrate.

Truth # 10 – You are making a decision, by not making a decision. Decisions can be damn hard work and sometimes procrastination seem to be the easiest thing to do. Just remember, that by putting things off and not deciding, you have actually made a choice.”

To be coached is an active choice. if any of the above rings true for you and you actively want to be coached, then why not give me a call to set up a free consultation. nicole@tikumu.co.nz

23 Nov

Carpets or spider’s webs?

Why is it so common that people don’t prepare themselves for the worst? They would rather brush the idea of their life, goals or projects going wrong under the carpet and think that “the worst” will never happen to them. Whilst watching Chris Hadfield’s TED Talk What I learned from going blind in space this very question surfaced for me. Why don’t people prepare for the worst?

This kind of narrow-minded thinking and behaviour can be very limiting, and unfortunately it is far too typical.  As a professional coach I very much understand and promote that when planning for new goals you need to be positive and motivated in order to move through the change process, but you also need to be realistic and consider the “what ifs”.

So why do people not consider the worst? Is it because it’s uncomfortable or unpleasant? That the buzz and excitement of a new adventure and grand success is all too consuming and the possibility of it tanking is too demotivating to think about?

Here’s the thing though…

By planning for the worst case scenarios, as Chris Hadfield did in his training, the possible negative outcomes, which seemed dark and scary in the beginning lose their fearful facade, and the “what ifs” become less intimidating and more manageable.

By considering all possible outcomes, you take control of your “what ifs”. You are now walking into your change process with your eyes wide open, armed with alternative plans as your safety net.

The problem is, is that if you haven’t planned for the worst and something goes wrong you don’t just lose control, but there is also a good chance that you will lose motivation and faith in your abilities. Bouncing back from that type of experience can be time consuming and costly, both financially and emotionally.

Another possible reason for not considering the “what ifs” is that it is too damaging for the ego. By actually admitting that there could be a failure, it is too overwhelming for the ego to manage or accept.

Steve Donahue writes the following in his book Shifting Sands. “The road to success is not paved with success. At times its not paved at all. The road to a successful life takes us through deserts where we get stuck and what we must do to get moving again is a defeat of our ego. Whether it means admitting that we’re wrong, accepting a loss, apologising, forgiving, asking for help or acknowledging our weakness, the ego comes out the loser by being deflated.”

By accepting the fact that things go wrong and then planning for them, prevents your ego from taking over and sabotaging your success .

A great model to use when planning your goals is the SMART goal model. Make sure that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timed. By considering all these factors in your planning phase you should, when tackling the realistic section, be considering the worst-case scenarios and making contingency plans to overcome possible challenges ahead.

Set yourself up for success, not failure, by considering everything in your planning phase.